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The Pomeroy Lakes & Mary Murphy Mine Trail is located a little over 17 miles Southwest of Buena Vista, CO (which is on US Hwy 285, about 70 miles West of Colorado Springs). To get to the trailhead from Buena Vista, take US 285 South 8 miles. Turn right (West) on CO 162 and go 15.5 miles, towards St. Elmo. Bear left on CO 295 towards Hancock and go 2.8 miles. The trailhead is a left turn onto FR 297.1. Ranging in elevation from 10,000 feet to over 12,000 feet, the trail takes you up the gulch between Chrysolite and Pomeroy Mountains. About of a mile into the trail  is the remains of the old Mary Murphy Gold Mine, which was discovered in the mid-1870s by Dr. A.E. Wright. According to legend, he named it after a nurse who cared for him when he was taken to the hospital in Denver. However, it is not clear how the adjoining Pat Murphy mine was named. The Mary Murphy Mine was enormously successful and was the main engine of the local economy. It supported the towns of St. Elmo, Romley, and Hancock. When the mine closed in 1926, it spelled the end for these towns and also for the remaining section of the old Alpine Tunnel railroad. The tracks were torn up within the year. There are several abandoned structures at the mine site to explore. But use caution and keep close tabs on kids and pets! If you look up the Southwestern face of the Chrysolite Mountain to the East, you will see an American Flag flying at the summit; just over which is the remains of the old Iron Chest Gold Mine and the end of the Iron Chest Mine Trail. There is a trail that branches to the left that takes you up a shelf road to the upper portion of the Mary Murphy, and may or may not be open to the public. Back on the main trail, a few hundred yards farther  is an old gravesite immediately to the right, which dates back to 1884. The trail continues to climb for another mile or so up to a large open mesa, with Lake Pomeroy to the right. This is an excellent place to stop for lunch and let the kids and pets run off some energy! Theres also a -mile foot trail that will take you to Upper Pomeroy Lake. The Pomeroy Lake Trail is a little over 2.5 miles one way and takes only about an hour or so to reach the lake.

This trail is do able in a stock 4wd with a high ground clearance.  It is usually Ice free and accessible around mid-June.  Pomeroy Lake is at N3838.942' Latitude and W10620.638' Longitude with an elevation of 12,100 ft..  Upper Pomeroy Lake is at N3838.192' Latitude and W10620.419' Longitude with an elevation of 12,400 ft.  

Pomeroy lakes contain cutthroat trout and was stocked with grayling at one time with the occasional one being caught.  Flies I have had success with at this lake include, dave's hopper, griffen gnats, copper johns, or any other small fly.  Hardware that works well there would include blue fox spinners, kastmasters, and thomas bouyants.  

This list is intended as a guide only and no responsibility is taken for any incident arising from mis-information. The ultimate responsibility as to whether the trail is safe to travel, within the capabilities of yourself and your vehicle, or indeed open at all, is taken by YOU.

REMEMBER - TREAD LIGHTLY

 

 

To view more pictures of the trails, mines, and lakes check out our Pomeroy Lakes Gallery.

 

 


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|© 2007 Rick Schroeder